Steve Wozniak launches energy platform leveraging blockchain and tokens
Co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak, has anounced that he is rolling out his second company, Efforce, to transform and disrupt the energy efficiency market. His new business may be on track to do the same with a token listingthat sent its market capitalization to $950M in the first 13 minutes,10 times the listing price. The company had received an initial valuation of $80M by investors in private sales.
Efforce is a marketplace that enables companies to undertake energy efficiency measures at no cost so that they can invest their liquidity in more critical tasks. With Efforce, for the first time, the energy efficiency market is accessible to large and small investors alike — regardless of borders — who can then monetize the transferable energy savings.
Currently, financing energy efficiency measures can be a complex mix of financial and regulatory challenges that limit the speed of growth. Efforce uses an innovative web-based platform to leverage the blockchain, and tokens called WOZX, as the mechanisms to create a seamless platform to spur global energy efficiency. Efforce’s WOZX tokens were listed on hbtc.com
“Energy consumption and CO2 emissions worldwide have grown exponentially, leading to climate change and extreme consequences to our environment. We can improve our energy footprint and lower our energy consumption without changing our habits. We can save the environment simply by making more energy improvements,” said Wozniak. “We created Efforce to be the first decentralized platform that allows everyone to participate and benefit financially from worldwide energy efficiency projects, and create meaningful environmental change.”
“In these difficult times, many small companies are struggling,” said Jacopo Visetti, project lead and co-founder, Efforce. “They can’t afford to switch to LED lighting, streamline production processes, or even insulate to conserve heat, all of which could save them money in the long term. Efforce allows business owners to safely register their energy upgrade project on the web and secure funding from all types of investors around the world. The companies will then have more available cash to use for other critical projects such as infrastructure or hiring.”
The Energy Efficiency Market
The market for energy efficiency projects has reached a staggering $250 billion. Not only is private industry contributing to the booming market, but governments including the EU and China are investing heavily in energy efficiency funding. However, in order to achieve the International Energy Agency’s Efficient World Scenario, the sector still must double the size of investments to $580 billion by 2025.
Today, investor groups called energy services companies (ESCOs) must have access to large amounts of capital (typically $200,000 minimum) to undertake energy efficiency improvements. They often are unable to turn to traditional banking channels as banks lack the technical expertise to properly assess the return on investment.
In contrast, the Efforce platform democratizes the market. “We have created a business model that allows anyone to participate in the greater good of making the world cleaner and healthier, all by leveraging efficiency for economic growth,” said Visetti. “Energy efficiency is a way to create a sustainable future, and this is a way to help counter climate change, reduce carbon — and make money while you do it.”
The Efforce Business Model
Using the Efforce platform, the process of financing and undertaking projects is streamlined:
ESCOs register an intended energy efficiency project which is then validated by the Efforce team.
Efforce develops the project with the company, including evaluating the investment need, calculating the anticipated return, and creating an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) that details the savings and the duration of the returns for the company and investors.
The platform then lists the project for crowd contribution. The participants may buy into the project using fractional or whole WOZX tokens.
Efforce measures energy savings on these projects through smart meters attached to the blockchain. The savings data are loaded to the investor’s profile as an energy credit for use or sale by the investor. Energy credits are distributed in megawatt-hours.
The company is run by veteran executives highly familiar with the energy efficiency sector, who after a decade of experience with the less efficient but still-profitable ESCO model began to develop the Efforce business model and platform. Visetti previously founded Milan-based AitherCO2, with annual revenues of $240 million and no outside investment funding. Wozniak was attracted to Efforce for its unique approach to democratizing energy efficiency, and this is the only company he has participated in as a co-founder since Apple.